Global Alumni and Alumni Clubs
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Welcome to Penn Global Alumni and Alumni Clubs

With over 25,000 alumni living outside the United States, the University of Pennsylvania truly has a global presence in just about any community in the world.  Moreover, Penn Alumni can be found leading organizations of every type all over the globe ranging from large corporations, to government offices, and small local associations.  Penn alumni are using their education and experience to make a difference in their home country and beyond.  Penn’s alumni pride also can be found around the world as exhibited by the many volunteer leaders who work diligently to serve Penn as alumni interviewers, club leaders, and local ambassadors.

In Penn’s diverse community of engaged citizens, Penn’s Regional Clubs include over 120 clubs around the world offering alumni the chance to reconnect, to attend lively events and to get involved in collaborative initiatives that impact people and communities.  Club activities range in size and topics, from discussions featuring Penn Integrates Knowledge faculty members at Engaging Minds programs to intimate salon-style conversations, from celebratory happy hours to Penn sports viewing parties and from community and neighborhood service projects to group trips in the great outdoors. Penn Alumni Regional Clubs are charged with providing alumni with a variety of ways to connect to Penn from their own backyard.  Events are sponsored and organized in large part by Penn Alumni volunteers and leaders.

For a listing of current Penn Clubs and School specific clubs around the world, please visit the Alumni and Alumni Club section of the Global Activity Map

Alumni Making a Global Impact

  • Name:  Bronwen Ewens

    Country:  Australia

    Current Global Engagement:  I graduated with an MPA (MGA) from the Fels Institute of Government and also took a couple of courses at Wharton.

    My master’s in public sector administration has been put to global use: I have worked for the French government in Sydney as a market/trade analyst, for the Japanese government in Paris (as part of Japan’s OECD delegation) and three Australian government agencies. I also have a JD and currently specialize in administrative law – my Penn education in the accountabilities, constraints, and operations of government is the gift that keeps on giving!

    Through these jobs, I was commissioned to write the official report on the Sydney 2000 Olympics for the International Olympic Committee.  Later, through my OECD work in Paris, I gained insight into the role of intergovernmental organizations. This led me to join UN Online Volunteering, something I can recommend to anyone. My global engagements through this organization are with a small children’s rights NGO in Switzerland and with the Hanoi Centre for Research and Applied Sciences in Gender  - Family – Women and Adolescents, for whom I edited the book Light in the Alley, in which Vietnamese women who have escaped domestic abuse relate their stories.

Q & A

  1. What book would you recommend to others?
    • My undergraduate degree is in literature and I have long list that I’m only too willing to share. Perhaps the book that has most influenced me most is Albert Camus’s The Plague. It’s an allegory of World War Two and of resistance to human cruelty. At the same time, it shows the value of solidarity and of “giving people chances”.
  2. What is your fondest memory of Penn?
    • The people – both teachers and classmates. I made lifelong friends among fellow students and caught up with Fels teaching legend Ed DeSeve when he visited Melbourne a couple of years ago. The opportunity to meet people from all over the world, to share, learn and laugh together in a spirit of inquiry and mutual respect was unique and life-changing.
  3. What is the one thing that all visitors in your city must do, or see?
    • I nominate the Royal Botanic Gardens. Very close to the city, you have 94 acres featuring more than 10,000 floral species, as well as lawns and lakes. It’s a haven of beauty and peace. And it’s free, which is a relief in such an expensive country as Australia.
  4. Looking back, what advice would you now want to give to yourself while you were at Penn?
    • I would say ‘jump right in’! Meet as many people as possible, make the most of every opportunity and don’t be shy or intimidated by the fact that it’s a large and prestigious Ivy League university. People are welcoming and warm. It’s truly a once in a lifetime opportunity to learn about the world and about yourself, to broaden your horizons as you never have before and, perhaps, never will again.
  5. What have you done or are doing now that you believe have the most impact?
    • Probably my volunteer work, some of which I mentioned above. Apart from that, I strove to be a good ambassador for Australia while at Penn. It annoys me that Australians are often stereotyped by other nationalities as uncultured beer-guzzlers and worse, racists. The stereotype doesn’t fit me and I hope I helped some folks realize that individuals are not national clichés. In return, Penn allowed me to meet a huge variety of people who I otherwise would never have met, which made me lose a few clichéd ways of thinking of my own.
  6. Who inspires you?
    • I lost my mother when I was an undergraduate, before I went to Penn. She inspired and inculcated in me the love of learning and curiosity about the world that form the very bedrock of my character.
  7. What is your favorite Penn tradition?
    • The food trucks!
  8. What were your favorite classes and/or professors?
    • At Fels, Government with Jim Spady and James Humes’s Public Communications. At Wharton, Marketing Management with Arvind Rangaswamy. I became fascinated by brand management and this sparked my love of intellectual property law, as the two go hand-in-hand.
  9. What student groups did you participate in when you were at Penn?
    • I was so busy exploring the cultural wealth of Philadelphia, acquiring knowledge and socialising with friends that I wasn’t really involved in student groups. There were about 50 of us at Fels, and we formed our own social group. Fels really provided me with a ready-made social life.
  10. Where did you hangout off campus?
    • South Street, Fairmount Park for hiking and biking, the Ritz theatres in Society Hill.
  11. When you travel do you prefer window or aisle?
    • I will graciously leave the aisle seat to those over 5’4” and occupy the window seat for the views. The chance to look down on the world and marvel at it trumps practicality every time.
  • Global Activity Map
  • Global Activity Map
  • An interactive map that showcases global opportunities for students, global activities of faculty, and the global reach of our alumni.

Penn Alumni Travel

Penn Alumni Travel offers a wide variety of tours to destinations around the world. Trips provide a rich travel experience thanks to their educational character, unique access to special lectures with Penn faculty, and the camaraderie of like-minded intellectually curious travelers. To find out more, please visit the Penn Alumni Travel site.